The title of this course is Concepts of Biology and Biodiversity. Evolution is an important process in biology, and it explains the diversity of life that exists in our world. We now know that all life is related and can be traced back to a common ancestor that existed some 3.5 billion years ago. In the vast time since life first appeared, evolution has resulted in a continuous branching of new species that can be described as a tree of life. Rooted firmly at the bottom is life's common ancestor, whereas modern species reside at the tree's tips; the vast branching that exists between the two describes the history of life on the planet.
In this class, evolution will be a reoccurring theme. Whenever appropriate, we will discuss how evolutionary processes have shaped life's intricacies. As you will learn, evolution has many facets that have contributed to the diversity of life. However, only one process adapts life to the environment; namely, natural selection.